Captain Marvel, by CC Beck

After his studies, Charles C. Beck began as a humor illustrator for Fawcett's pulp magazines in 1933. In 1939 C.C. Beck was assigned to design the character which was to become 'Captain Marvel'. The character of Billy, a radio boy who is turned into a superhero by a flash of lightning, was invented by Bill Parker. Originally the character was called Captain Thunder, but he was renamed Captain Marvel before the first issue appeared.

Spy Smasher, by Charles Clarence Beck

Many artists have worked on the 'Captain Marvel' feature since, but it was CC Beck who gave this hero a visual life which rivalled that of Superman. The strip became the best-selling comic feature on the American market, and Beck was promoted to chief artist.

Captain Tootsie (August, 1948)
Captain Tootsie (August, 1948)

In 1941 C.C. Beck opened his own comicbook studios, drawing not only for 'Captain Marvel', but for 'Spy Smasher' and 'Ibis, the Invincible' as well. Beck opened a second studio in 1944, but in 1954 he had to close both studios due to lagging sales and a copyright infringement lawsuit against 'Captain Marvel'. In the 1940s and 1950s he also drew the 'Captain Tootsie' advertising strip with Peter Costanza. Beck returned to the comicbook industry briefly in 1966, drawing 'Fatman, the Human Flying Saucer', and 'Shazam!' in 1972.

C. C. Beck died in 1989, but his artistic style remains one of the cleanest ever used by a comic book artist. Captain Marvel's sword, Shazam, inspired the name of the Shazam Awards, a short-lived comics prize handed out by the Academy of Comic Book Arts between 1970 and 1977. 

Captain Marvel, by Charles Clarence Beck

Series and books by C. C. Beck you can order today:


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